We need a dream today. A dream of a place where people are not judged by which country they come from but what dream they have. People are not judged by who they vote for, but what they aspire for in their dreams. Many years ago, there was one young man. His name was Joseph. He “dreamed a dream” about himself being a great man. This dream did not please his brothers who conspired to kill him. Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery not before being first thrown into a pit. His new masters took him to Egypt where he was a slave. While working as a Houseboy in the Governor’s house in Egypt, he worked so well, he was promoted to be the Director of State Residences.
After some time he ended up in prison after being falsely accused of attempted rape by the Madam of the house. In prison Joseph was so diligent he was promoted to be a “prefect” of the other prisoners. While a prisoner Joseph nurtured his special gift – he was dreamer. I imagine he would dream all sorts of nice things including seeing himself as somebody one day. He never wallowed in self pity or despondency. He kept on dreaming and even developed an uncanny ability to interpret dreams. All the fellow prisoners would come to him for “dream consultancy”. Talk about increasing your product range!
One day the President of Egypt (Pharaoh) had a worrisome dream. He needed interpretation. All his men of wisdom, clairvoyants, seers, soothsayers, and astrologers could not interpret the dream! It took, Joseph the prisoner to interpret the President’s dream! He managed to interpret the dream in social, political, economic and strategic terms. This man with a coat of many colours was truly amazing. That was his ticket out of prison to become a Prime Minister in a foreign land! Time will fail me if I talk about Daniel who was also in exile in Babylon, but used dreams to be promoted. Dreams work! Let me share some lessons from this story.
Lesson 1 – Dare to Dream
Woe to those who are at ease in life. The future belongs to those who dream. To make a difference in life you need to dream. A dream is a picture of your future. It is a preview of what lies ahead. It is the bridge to where you are going with your life.
Lesson 2 – A Dream Brings Opposition
The day you decide to be someone, is the day great opposition starts. The day Joseph said he was going to be a great man. His brothers hated him so much that they even conspired to kill him. Some of you, your dreams have even taken you to places and through processes you don’t like, but hold on to your dream. Your dream is more real, than reality!
Lesson 3 – Dreamers Walk Alone
The day you set to dream, you become an outcast. Joseph’s dream took him away from his own family and country of birth. You cannot be everything to everyone if you are going somewhere with your life. Dreams put you on different level than everyone else. Like an eagle you soar above everybody and everything else. Your dream becomes your company and your obsession.
Lesson 4 – Dreams Set Your Priorities
Joseph never flinched even in the face of great adversity. He had a dream to be a great man so he acted like one. When he was a Houseboy in the Governor’s house, he worked with diligence and excellence until he was promoted to be the Overseer of the Governor’s house (Director of State Residences). He did not let prison contain him. He imprisoned prison. He conquered prison by working hard and he was promoted to a Prison Prefect. His dream set the context of his priorities. When you have a dream you are like a woman carrying a baby in the womb. Your diet changes, your routine changes, your sleeping habits change.
Lesson 5 – Dreams Follow Due Process
Sustainable dreams follow due process. The longevity of your greatness is a factor of the process. If your dreams are microwave dreams, they are just a mirage and only last a short while. If your dreams go through a refiner’s fire, then they will last a whole legacy. Joseph earned his stripes whether in the pit, in the Governor’s house or in prison. If you gallivant at work and dream of promotion, please think again. If you are a briefcase businessman and just wheel and deal, be more serious otherwise you will remain a fly by night. A dream is found on rocky ground, anchored in due process and established by action.
Lesson 6 – Dreams Liberate
It doesn’t matter where you are today. Under tyranny, selfish employer, in exile or diaspora, financial mess, marriage prison, suffocating relationship? Start dreaming while you are there. Dream your way out. I am tempted to share about Martin Luther King. He had a dream. If you can conceive it, you can achieve it. A dream is what the eye of faith has seen in the land of hope ahead. Dream!